RAIS Roundup October 3

October 3, 2011 Comments Off on RAIS Roundup October 3

Below are some links to some recent found-in-databases articles on the topic of reference services or eBooks in libraries. If you’re an ALIA member you can get access to them via the LIS journals subscription. 

The latest issue (Fall 2011, Vol. 51, Iss. 1) of Reference & User Services Quarterly is now available. This issue includes:

Best Free Reference Sites: Thirteenth Annual List
Situated questions and answers: Responding to library users with QR codes 

Other articles available in different journals include:

Herther, N. (2011, September). 21st-Century Lending Libraries: Books in a Cloud? Searcher, 19(7), 12-15,48-51.

One of the clear hallmarks of ebooks has been the expansion of consumer options. . . . Choice is wonderful, but sometimes trying to serve these markets, with so much ongoing change in the book world, can be very challenging.

 Gilson, T. (2011, September). Reference Services TODAY And TOMORROW. Searcher, 19(7), 32-35. 

Today’s patrons want reference service to be available when they need it and do not want to be limited to a single location where services are provided only or primarily to those who make the effort to visit. Users expect more personalized and customized attention and want services to be accessible online as well as in person. Services need to be designed and tailored to meet these expectations.

Foasberg, N. (2011). Adoption of E-Book Readers among College Students: A Survey. Information Technology and Libraries, 30(3), 108-128. 

To learn whether e-book readers have become widely popular among college students, this study surveys students at one large, urban, four-year public college. The survey asked whether the students owned e-book readers and if so, how often they used them and for what purposes. Thus far, uptake is slow; a very small proportion of students use e-readers. These students use them primarily for leisure reading and continue to rely on print for much of their reading. Students reported that price is the greatest barrier to e-reader adoption and had little interest in borrowing e-reader compatible e-books from the library.


RAIS Roundup April 15

April 15, 2011 Comments Off on RAIS Roundup April 15

By Mary J. Vogt, via morgueFile

Below are some links to some recent free-on-the-web and some found-in-databases articles and journals on the topic of reference services in libraries.

Journal of Library Administration

Table of contents

“. . . [O]ne might justifiably ask, “Is reference dead or at least dying?” As the articles and case studies in this issue and the next issue illustrate, the answer is a resounding “no!” Reference librarians, like their libraries, have adapted to change and continuously do so. The reference professional is as busy as ever, in some cases even more so due to the current economic situation which has forced cutbacks in resources, hours, and staffing. No, reference is alive and well, and although some things never change (research assistance, wayfinding, and instruction), the tools and methods have and our users have never been better served.”

Seal, Robert A. ‘Trends, Issues, and Innovation in Academic Library Service: Introduction‘, Journal of Library Administration, 51:3, 255 – 258

This issue of the Journal of Library Administration investigates reference. Includes an article on how reference librarians prevent library anxiety.

First Monday

April 2011 Table of Contents

A surprise result found of college students using library databases for everyday research (e.g., buying a car and checking out prices).

“We were struck by respondents’ reported use of online research databases (e.g., JSTOR, EBSCO, or ProQuest) for everyday life research. The sources are usually considered the domain of course-related research and are available through the campus library. Yet, well over a third of the respondents also reported using research databases (40 percent) for finding everyday life information.”

How college students use the Web to conduct everyday life research
by Alison J. Head and Michael B. Eisenberg.
First Monday, Volume 16, Number 4 – 4 April 2011

The latest issue of RUSQ (Reference & User Services Quarterly) is available.

Includes an article on query clarification and the reference interview in the online chat environment.

Radford, M. L., Connaway, L. S., Confer, P. A., Boros, S. S., & Kwon, H. (2011). “Are we getting warmer?” query clarification in live chat virtual reference. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 50(3), 259.

Several papers from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) 2011  are now available.

PDF Papers about reference services include:

Reference Desk Renaissance: Connecting with Users in the Digital Age
Sara Tompson and Catherine Quinlan

Reference Philosophy in a Mobile World: Evidence for Service Provision and Sustainability
Scott Collard, Kara Whatley, and Alexa Pearce

Re-Inventing Reference
Lynn A. Sheehan

Doreen Sullivan
RAIS (Vic.) Convenor

RAIS Roundup March 16

March 16, 2011 Comments Off on RAIS Roundup March 16

Vogt, Mary R., MF_3656.JPG http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/191847


Below are some links to various reference articles, blog posts and newsletters about reference initiatives. 

IGI Global’s ALIS newsletter is a brand new resource that gives a good taste of IGI’s library and information science content. Their inaugural issue focuses on reference. 

Welcome to the first issue of IGI Global’s ALIS newsletter. Unlike similar newsletters—which serve as information vehicles keeping librarians in the know about what’s on the publishing horizon—ours is a value-added tool that

gives a pre-publication, no-strings-attached glimpse into our library and information science content. The eight articles featured here in abbreviated form touch on the most pressing issues surrounding the discoverability of reference content, including the changing face of information literacy and user behavior, shifting roles for publishers, and hidden new opportunities for reference librarians. 

What do Reference Librarians do?—Blog posts series on ricklibrarian by Rick Roche who works at the Thomas Ford Memorial Library. 

I continue my series on what reference librarians do. Today I am reporting on real reference questions to illustrate the kind of work we do now. I have kept all client identifying information confidential. 

The latest issue [March 2011: 72(3)] of College & Research Library News is now freely available on the web.  

Reference and information literacy staff might find the article Promoting privacy: Online and reputation management as an information literacy skill particularly useful. 

Doreen Sullivan
RAIS (Vic.) Convenor

RAIS Reference Roundup February 14

February 14, 2011 Comments Off on RAIS Reference Roundup February 14

Happy Library Lovers Day!  

RAIS rounds up some blog posts and some article links, both new and not so new, about reference services in libraries. 

  • In the editorial of FreePint Newsletter 319 Michelle Manafy notes that mobile user demand might not be as pervasive as LIS staff assume.  

There’s been a good deal of anecdotal evidence that mobile is on the must-have list for users everywhere. However, Neidorf’s presentation – based on her FreePint Research Report: Enterprise Market for Mobile Content as well as her just-released phase two of this mobile research project: FreePint Research Report: User Interest in Mobile Content, which provides the results of end user research on mobile demands, limitations and growth inhibitors in the enterprise – contradicted many common assumptions. 

This article looks at library users’ help-seeking preferences. Do they prefer to go to the reference desk? Do they prefer using virtual reference? It is looking at that type of question.

              If you enjoyed his take on this article his others to do with reference tools can be here.  

Compromised questions are those questions where patrons have assumed too much, are trying to help you out by asking for something that they think you can answer rather than burdening you with all their cares and concerns. Things like “Where do you keep your directories” are classic compromised questions because often the asker thinks that what they need is in a directory but is probably actually a much bigger, much more interesting information need.

Can it be that libraries’ overdependence on digital search and retrieval will be harmful to the thinking process, the basic research methods process, for future generations?

             Verdesca JR., Anthony F. ‘When Access for the “Gimme” World Proves Dismissive of Finesse’, Journal of Access Services, 8:1, 46 – 49.

  •  And how does reference serendipity work in the world of electronic resources? Do we even admit to ourselves let alone our clients the role that serendipity might fill when we answer a reference query? Think serendipity is too vague and too last century?

The reference collection traditionally rewards serendipity by presenting key resources in a compact group. At the University of Manitoba Libraries, reference collection space is at a premium and, increasingly, electronic versions of reference materials are selected for purchase. However, our space saving comes at a cost: Our patrons can’t browse electronic reference materials across various online platforms, and they miss out on potential serendipitous discoveries.

Ford, Lyle , O’Hara, Lisa Hanson and Whiklo, Jared ‘Shelflessness as a Virtue: Preserving Serendipity in an Electronic Reference Collection’, Journal of  Electronic    Resources Librarianship, 21:3, 251 – 262 . 

Doreen Sullivan
RAIS (Vic.) Convenor      

RAIS Reference Roundup January 10

January 10, 2011 Comments Off on RAIS Reference Roundup January 10


In 2011 RAIS (Reference and Information Services) will provide occasional posts—maybe each fortnight or maybe each month—that highlight articles and blog posts about reference and LIS professional development. 

Many of the articles will be available either free or through ALIA’s LIS journals, but sometimes you might need to look a little further afield at your public or workplace library.

 Here’s our first roundup with a focus on workplace promotion, reference and professional online identity. 

The most recent issue of Library Trends (Volume 59, Number 1-2, Summer 2010/Fall 2010) focuses on library workplace issues and includes articles from the academic, public and health library perspectives.

In fact, the health library’s perspective is also an Australian viewpoint, in the article “Australia’s Health Libraries: A Research-directed Future“. 

From the abstract: 

 Health Libraries Australia, a group from the Australian Library and Information Association, is currently undertaking a research project to determine the future requirements for the health librarian workforce in Australia. The study has yielded an in-depth literature review exploring the Australian health care system and health library sector and international trends in health libraries that may impact Australian health librarian education.

Gillian Hallam et. al. “Australia’s Health Libraries: A Research-directed Future.” Library Trends 59, no. 1-2 (2010): 350-372.  

The editors introduce this Library Trends issue by writing,

This double issue represents a continuation of our first collection of research articles on workforce issues published in Library Trends, Volume 58, Number 2, Fall 2009. Concerns about the current and future state of the library workforce continue to grow as greater numbers of Baby Boomers move closer to their retirement years. As Manjarrez, Ray, and Bisher point out in this issue, half of librarians were over age fifty in 2007, and a fifth of librarians were over age sixty. A number of factors have made librarianship one of the occupations with the highest proportion of older workers: many librarians enter the profession as a second career; reductions in hiring in public and academic libraries during the 1970s and 1980s resulted in fewer hires of younger librarians; and high levels of job satisfaction contribute to worker longevity in positions.

Joanne Gard Marshall et. al. “Introduction: Workforce Issues in Library and Information Science, Part 2.” Library Trends 59, no. 1-2 (2010): 1-5.

Two articles about reference and customer service from Reference & User Services Quarterly (RUSQ):

Ferrell, S. 2010. Who Says There’s a Problem? A New Way to Approach the Issue of “Problem Patrons”Reference & User Services Quarterly 50, no. 2, (December 1): 141-151. [Opens as  PDF]

Wolfe, J., T. Naylor, and J. Drueke. 2010. The Role of the Academic Reference Librarian in the Learning CommonsReference & User Services Quarterly 50, no. 2, (December 1): 108-113.  

Another Australian perspective of library workforce issues in New Library World, this time a library liaison workforce review undertaken by the University of Tasmania. Vanessa Warren.  2011. Using workforce structures to enable staff retention and development: An academic library case studyNew Library World 112, no. 1/2, (January 1): 8-18.  

 The Progressive Librarian has its archives, currently up to Summer 2008, freely available on the web. The Progressive Librarian is also indexed by Proquest Library Science, which is the LIS journal database that ALIA provides for its members.

The latest College & Research Libraries News is available in full-text online.  

Suzanne Markgren’s article on how to manage your professional online identity has gathered quite a lot of interest, and not just from those in academic circles.

Markgren, S. (2011). Ten simple steps to create and manage your professional online identity: How to use portfolios and profiles. College & Research Library News  72 (January 1): 31-35

Librarians are not good at self-promotion. It’s true. When was the last time you shared your accomplishments with your colleagues, your supervisor, your director, your friends? Your mother doesn’t count. How often do you bask in a little professional recognition? Have you ever scrutinized your own professional identity (as a potential employer might)?

Brad Matthies of the blog The Digital Immigrant reflects on digital profiles, referencing Markgren’s article here, titled Digital Profiles 

Older yet still relevant articles on libraries and self-promotion, not just online profiles, include these ones from the ALIA LIS journals database:

Schachter, D. 2008. Launching Your Info Pro Career? Self-Promotion Is KeyInformation Outlook, November 1, 52-53.

Self-promotion is about feeling confident in your skills and abilities, and being able to convey that information to others. In particular, being able to convey how you are the right person for a particular position or project. Developing your leadership skills is a good way to work on your confidence and develop effective working relationships. It comes down to really knowing yourself – understanding your learning and communication styles and seeking feedback from colleagues and supervisors, fellow students and instructors.

Hordle, J.  2002. No business like self-promotionInformation World Review, June 1, 28.  

If information professionals practised promotional habits more often, they would not only raise the number of personal opportunities but also assist in the rise of the profession as a whole. Most information professionals worry about the skills and experience they do not have, instead of promoting the ones they do. If one is serious about marketing their skills, they should not start without understanding what their employer’s motivations might be. It is crucial that one airs out ideas with people who could benefit from them. 

So happy New Year from RAIS Victoria. These links might help a little to start your 2011 professional development off with a bang.

Doreen Sullivan
RAIS (Vic.) Convenor 

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the Reference Roundup category at Reference & Information Services.